It Touches Me...
*Text of email forwarded to Bobby
“I have to say I got pretty involved in the performance. It was a rather small and intimate venue and it was easy to connect with Bobby. I’m still thinking a lot about his performance and his CD (I bought three!). Here are my impressions:
My first view of Manriquez is watching him, like a cat, rhythmic and swaying, deep into himself, eyes closed, looking for and finding something from within before his guitar becomes a part of him and they play as one musical instrument. His hands are quick, able to bring forth every conceivable texture and touch: his musical range seems limitless.
At times, the jagged edge of his blues opens veins you didn’t know existed. You bleed from the heart. At that point, you are brought back to life with all the power of a searing, sustained, bending “b” string at the end of a solo run which just streaked across your brain like a flash of lightning. You FEEL like dancing on the table, even if you are constrained from actually doing it. You HAVE to clap and sometimes yell or whistle or involuntarily let go of a high-pitched, “Whooooooooooooo!”. You can’t help it; it just IS that way when you are in the same room while he is performing. He holds nothing back and gives everything he has to you, in a way that I found unique. I put so much energy into listening to him play, that I was actually feeling a little worn out by the time I left! His musical ability is, without qualification, an IMMENSE gift and he is an IMMENSE talent. There is something personal that happens when you listen to Bobby that makes you want to connect to him; you can imagine yourself talking with him about all that personal, important stuff that make up the worthwhile parts of your life, on the front porch after dinner, with friends and family.
Tony Bennett once told Frank Sinatra that he was always nervous before a performance and that he was worried about conveying his own unease to an audience, to which Sinatra told him not to worry because audiences would only require one thing: that the performer CARE.
I was thinking about this as I watched Bobby perform Friday night.
He wears his guitar up high and tends to keep it close to his heart when he’s playing. When he closes his eyes and brings forth that musical magic, it seems to be even closer. It really shows and, to me, that’s what sets him apart and makes him so unique. I sense good stuff in his heart within and without his music.
Thanks Pete, for telling me about Bobby. I know I’ll be listening to a lot more of him. There are some lessons about life in his music.